Tag Archives: fear and diabetes

VLOG about Endo Visit

videoblog 

Some notes before you see this video:  I was SO nervous so you’ll have to forgive me for that.  On an interesting note, I wasn’t aware until I saw this video that a country accent is still clearly discernable even when I’m actively monitoring it.  Hmm. 

Also, at the end of the video I say some things that I’d like to say a little different here:

I think there are probably plenty of good doctors out there who don’t make eye contact or who aren’t very friendly.  We should probably cut them some slack.  I mean, I’ve been known to read people’s lips when they talk and I often forget to make eye contact myself!  So I think what is important is a doctor that you in particular can easily communicate with.  I’ve gone to doctors that other people “love” and left the office totally confused because I was not feeling the love at all.  Finding the right match is probably what is most important.  That and finding a doctor that doesn’t look at you like you’re crazy or arrogant when you show them you know a few things about your diabetes.  This doctor I went to today said, “The way you adjust your insulin sounds very good.  You’re intelligent, I like that!”  And honestly, If there is a best way to compliment me, that is it!

So with that clarification, here is moi:

How Many Scares Does it Take? And Why Aren’t I More Worried?

 

Since I’ve never had to use a Glucagon, I’ve never been good about remembering to get a new one once the old one expires.  Thank God they always expire instead of get used but still…

Last night, I caught a stomach virus that’s been going around.  I started feeling really awful around 8:30pm and just laid down on the bed.  I don’t know if I ever fell asleep but I do know that at some point I felt low but, couldn’t move or hardly talk.  Luckily, my husband was in the room and noticed I was trying to say something.  I was able to mutter the word, “low” and he took off for some juice.  He sat me up in bed and put the bottle of orange juice up to my mouth.  I downed two bottles.  A little later he tested my sugar which was 47.   Then an hour later my sugar was 52 and I started feeling nauseated and thought I might throw up.  Well, I did-plenty of times.  30 minutes later I was 44.  I downed lots of sugar even though I thought it was just going to come right back up.  I was beginning to have a major headache from the lack of glucose in my brain.  30 minutes later I was 42! 

I started getting scared.  I had downed all the juice in the house and had begun drinking several cups of sugar water (not appealing to a nauseated stomach).

I called my parents and my dad showed up around midnight with jello, crackers, juice, and most importantly, a glucagon.

Why didn’t I ever have one ready? 

Luckily I never threw up again and my blood sugar stabilized at 80, but I did get welcomed with blood sugars over 250 and 300 in the early AM hours.  Yay, isn’t it wonderful to bounce from one extreme to the other?

This made me realize (and so did my insistent mother) that I don’t have an emergency kit.  I’ve written about it and I myself don’t have one?  So anyway, here is what I will assemble as soon as I’m able:

Juice

Glucose tabs

Glucagon

Glucose gel

Crackers

Ketone strips

And as my mom thoughtfully pointed out, this kit should never be used except for emergencies.  That way, when there is an emergency you don’t say, “Uh oh, I’ve already drank my kit’s juice supply”.

Anyway, Is there anything I’m missing?  Let me know, I want to be prepared next time!

You know, this being Diabetes Awareness Month… I know a lot of non-diabetic people who have had a least one near death experience.  They tell the story at dinner tables, parties, and reunions.  They write about it in their journals and memoirs.  It’s a big deal.

We diabetics probably can’t keep up with our near death experiences.  There may be too many!  I mean, I can tell you at least 10 different times I came close to the worst case scenario but, it’s not even a big deal to me anymore.  Ok, it is, but, I’m kind of jaded.  Like, when I get scared after an incident like this and I think, Man! I could have died…I turn around and realize I’m not the least bit frightened or anxious about it the very next day. 

It’s like my way of life, my “normal”.  You know how some people who grow up in violent places are numb to violence?  Sometimes I feel numb to fear about my diabetes.  Maybe that’s just me.  Maybe I’ve just accepted everything I know which could go wrong.  Maybe I’ve got bucket loads of faith that I’ll be alright.  Maybe I’ve simply gone too long without a super frightening experience.  It’s true that I haven’t ever gone unconscious or had a glucagon shot or been in the hospital with ketoacidosis.

Here’s something I found just plain sad last night.  My husband looked at me when I was 42 and not able to drink more juice and said, “Do you want to make a trip to the hospital?”

Without thinking twice I looked up at him like a child that could never tell a lie and said, “No, they’ll kill me!”

So we’ve got some fear and trust issues eh?

All in a day’s life with diabetes. 

Just another one of the million reasons we need a cure.  No one should accept the faintest possibility of death with so much calm.

Taming the monster

 In this post I’m not directly referring to diabetes as a monster.  The fear and paranoia it causes-that my friends, is the monster.

Usually I manage to keep the monster lying down in it’s dark cave, sleeping and quiet.

Every now and then though, it creeps up behind me and paralyzes me with terror.

Lately, my one year old twins have been worrying me.  They seem more whiny lately.  (probably due to spending too much time in the house and thus getting bored, and you know what kids are like when their bored)  They also eat and drink anything I give them.  They even eat their books and the furniture for goodness sakes. (Maybe they’re just open minded to all kinds of tastes and textures?)  Every meal has to be ended by me because it seems that if I left it up to them they’d keep going and going and going… (although they are growing well and fast).

The point is, type 1 diabetes is never far from the front of my brain.  How can it be?  I can’t ignore it or else I’m in trouble right?  So every now and then I look at my babies and can’t help but wonder…

I usually snap out of it and tell myself worrying does no good but, then I remember how my little sister was diagnosed type 1 diabetic at age 3…and how my dad (famous in our family for being very cautious) was the one who caught the subtle signs my sister displayed.  I always think to myself, “what if he hadn’t noticed?” 

Yesterday my daughter awoke with a fever yet, no other symptoms.  All day I prayed for a runny nose or coughing but instead she was tired and cranky.

So that night I finally got so charged with paranoia after days of worrying and burst into tears.  My husband asked what was wrong and as I explained my fears I realized I knew how to stop worrying (at least for the time being). 

We crept into our children’s room and tested their blood sugar.  First, we tested Henri.  The meter read 116.  My husband and I looked at each other in confusion.  “He shouldn’t be over 100”, I said.  “Are you sure?  I mean he just had a bottle…” ,my husband replied.  “It doesn’t matter, he shouldn’t be over 100”, I insisted.

We then tried to test our daughter but, being the light sleeper she is, woke up and looked at us as if to say, “why are you bothering me at this hour?”

So we quickly left the room.

I tested my husband who came up 91.  I tested myself because I was beginning to feel low and found I was 74.  I tested my husband again and it read 84.  Then I tested myself yet again and I was 70.  The meter seemed fine…

I got out the two control vials that come with my Accucheck Aviva meter.  Both tests came out just right.

Ok…now what?

We decided the meter must be off for Henri.  We hoped it was.  And we still didn’t know about Aurora so we were still worried about that, too.

Then it occurred to my husband (Alex), “Hey remember we fed them apples tonight?  I didn’t wash Henri’s hands, maybe he has sugar on his finger tips from the apple?”

The glimmer of hope sent energy rushing back to my body.  “Maybe!”

We waited a few minutes and tested Aurora, who jolted when I pricked her finger.  We managed to get enough blood and her test came out 93.  “Yesss…”

Ok, now Henri’s turn again.  Alex wiped his fingers with a baby wipe and let it dry.  He moved Henri in such a way that his hand was sticking out of a gap in the crib railing (luckily he is a deep sleeper).  Then we saw his test result:  88.  “Oh thank God.”

This event reminded me of how important it is to learn to tame the fear that diabetes lashes out on us.  It doesn’t help us and doesn’t get us anywhere.  I was so worried I made myself sick.  I felt nauseated and weak and jittery.  I was caught in a downward spiral that led nowhere. 

When I tested my babies all my fears returned to normal levels and the monster hid back in it’s dark place until next time.  So I learned that the key to controlling fear is to act upon it.  I’m worried I’ll suffer complications so I take care of myself.  I used to be utterly embraced in fear and that kind of fear didn’t allow me to take care of myself.  What helped in that case?  Learning more about diabetes and taking steps to better diabetes management.  Only then did the intense fear lift.

Basically I think we should all act upon the needs of our diabetes while focusing on hope instead of fear.  Kerri at Six Until Me writes about this very poignantly.  You can read it here:  What is the biggest motivator?

I’ll test my children again in the future if needed.  I will observe them like a hawk.  And I will never stop the promotion of widespread education and awareness about diabetes because the question remains when I think of my little sister and countless others,  “What if…?”

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